Admire the incredible exterior with its soaring spires, and head straight inside for a guided tour of the UNESCO-listed Roman Catholic church, considered the master work of Antoni Gaudí. As one of the first visitors of the day, experience the full force of Gaudí's artistic genius with fewer crowds, and listen as your guide recounts the architect's vision for the church.
Gaze upward and soak up sights of the towering columns, stained glass windows and rich ornamentation. View the five aisles — designed like a Latin cross — and learn how Gaudí drew inspiration from nature, eschewing straight lines in favor of curves and jagged edges. Hear, too, how construction of the church began in 1882 and was only a quarter complete when Gaudí died in a road accident in 1926.
Check out the vaults that reach some 230 feet (70 meters) high, and, as you walk around, learn about the rich Christian symbolism of the decoration, facades and planned spires.
Having explored the church, enjoy some time to roam the area at your own leisure. To upgrade your experience, opt for a 30-minute visit (self-guided) to the top of church's tower, where you can look out on sweeping views over Barcelona. Please note that the trip to the top includes a climb of roughly 400 steps.